Sports, just like society in general, benefits from scientific and medical advancements every generation. Injuries, that previously would result in facilitating the end of an athletic career, are now manageable and less devastating. However, every generation of pro athletes gets bigger, stronger, and fitter. It also means when they collide or misstep, the damage they do to themselves or each other is quite serious and sometimes downright gruesome
The world of basketball and the NBA, in particular, has had its fair share of injury issues concerning athletes. It is in part a reason why the pre-season was shortened starting in 2018 and the regular season extended by 2 weeks. Yet, the NBA schedulers still find ways to book teams into back to back games and 3 games in 5 nights. It's somewhat frustrating for fans as it has meant paying hefty ticket prices to not see the best players in the game.
The latter years of Shaquille O’Neal’s career saw him miss a certain number of games during the regular season just so he could play in the playoffs. A more recent example is Toronto Raptors fans, who, elated as they are to be NBA Champions, did not get to see the greatness of Kawhi Leonard 22 times in 2018/19 due to “load management” meant to keep him healthy enough this past season to lead Toronto to the title.
There have been some gruesome injuries over the years and here’s a look at five of them in the last decade:
Disclaimer: The list contains some graphic injuries, hence viewer discretion is advised.
#5 Andre Bogut broken arm vs Suns - 3 April 2010
In a late regular-season game in 2010 against the Phoenix Suns, Andrew Bogut received an outlet pass from a Milwaukee teammate. He took flight dunking the ball and received a light touch in the back from the Suns’ center Amar'e Stoudemire. Bogut’s dunk made the score 46-32 in favor of Milwaukee at the time.
Bogut hung for a moment on the rim but when he released his grip he started to land backward essentially flipping over and landing with his right arm trapped between his right side and the hardwood floor upon impact. He broke his right wrist missing the next six weeks in recovery.
Amar'e Stoudemire received a flagrant foul on the play. It’s not clear that Stoudemire’s touch affected the 7 foot 260 pounder’s fall but it was perhaps the worst of a myriad of injuries the Australian center would suffer in his career. It also happened during what was at the time a breakout season for Bogut as he averaged a double-double at 15.9 ppg and 10.2 rpg.